Monthly Archives: November 2013

Families

Today’s New York Times’ Science section is entirely devoted to ‘Families’, with articles about changing trends and also profiles of several nontraditional families, including one about a gay couple — in their 50s and 60s — who have adopted 6 … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Personal history | Leave a comment

Ineffability, God thereof

Another Andrew Sullivan post on The Dish– a few days ago, this, via Aidan Kimel and Herbert McCabe: God must be incomprehensible to us precisely because he is creator of all that is and, as Aquinas puts it, outside the … Continue reading

Posted in Religion | Leave a comment

A Celebration of Human Ingenuity

Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish on The Inevitabilty In Beauty. Theoretical physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed and novelist Ian McEwan recently discussed the relationship between art and science, often agreeing that what might unite them is beauty. I like McEwan’s response: I would … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Science | Leave a comment

The Trolley Problem

NYTBR reviews not one but two books about the ‘trolley problem’, a hypothetical situation in which the decisions people make reveal how intuitive moral decisions are made differently by different people. The question is, suppose you see a runaway trolley … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | Leave a comment

David McRaney 2, Gravity, Haiyan, GRR Martin

I’ve been meaning to close out my thoughts on David McRaney’s brilliant second book, YOU ARE NOW LESS DUMB, which I first posted about a month ago. First, let me follow up on his ‘narrative bias’ described in the first … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Lunacy, Philosophy, Religion, science fiction | Leave a comment

Why Science Is Not About Faith

Great post at Slate by Jerry Coyne — the original headline on the homepage has disappeared, so I’m reproducing from memory in this link: Why Scientists Have No Faith in Science The point is science isn’t about faith, not even … Continue reading

Posted in Religion, Science | Leave a comment

Why People Believe in Conspiracies

With the JFK 50th anniversary upon us, there have been numerous stories lately about this. Here’s one in Slate that wonders why so many people are so taken by outlandish conspiracy theories. http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/11/conspiracy_theory_psychology_people_who_claim_to_know_the_truth_about_jfk.html How can this be? How can so … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Lunacy, Thinking | Leave a comment

Another Fermi Paradox idea

The Fermi Paradox is the observation that, while calculations of the number of likely planets in the galaxy (or universe) that can support life suggests that there might be millions or billions of them — recent news stories, e.g. CNN, … Continue reading

Posted in Cosmology | Leave a comment